The National, Monday 23rd January 2012
By SALLY POKITON
UPNG journalism student
THE country’s national disaster management plan is a disaster, NCD Governor Powes Parkop says.
Parkop said PNG’s approach to managing disasters was a disaster as those in power waited for calamaties to take place before they responded.
He called on the government to plan ahead to cater for disasters.
“When it comes to natural disasters, it takes two to three weeks for the relief effort to reach the affected areas.”
He said the people affected by Cyclone Guba that hit Northern in 2007 were still living in care centres even though funds had been made available for their rehabilitation.
“Where is the planning to prevent disasters happening?”
He said relocating people as a result of natural disasters had created other problems with traditional landowners.
“We need to find ways to prevent such problems also from happening,” Parkop said.
He said the main concern for coastal people was rising sea levels and planning had to be done to do more than just planting mangrove trees and build sea barriers like the ones in Holland and Japan.
Parkop said the National Department of Weather Service was under the Department of Transport which was wrong.
“Weather service should come under the Office of Climate Change,” he said.
“The Department of Weather Service, disaster office, climate change and Geophysical observatory office should be put together.
“These offices are doing things on their own.”